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Published Thursday 1 February, 2024
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

A student’s stolen bike has been replaced thanks to the Swale Cycle-re-Cycle programme.

Staff at Oasis Academy appealed for a bike to replace the stolen one and officers at HMP Swaleside came to the rescue.

The student, who relied on their bike to get to school, was surprised with a newly refurbished replacement.

The Swale Cycle-re-Cycle programme, set up by Swale Borough Council in conjunction with HMP Swaleside and the Canterbury Bike Project, helps give old bikes a new lease of life, while giving residents an affordable method of transport.

HMP Swaleside inmates refurbish unwanted bikes, while working towards qualifications including the City & Guilds in Bike Mechanics.

Giving inmates the opportunity to upskill themselves and make a positive step toward rehabilitation.

The programme aims to save bikes from ending up in the tip or just rotting away in gardens, sheds and garages. It provides residents with cheap, environmentally friendly transportation, opening up opportunities whilst keeping them active and healthy.

The council funded the initial supply of bike parts and workshop consumables while Canterbury Bike Project trained an instructor to deliver the City & Guilds qualification.

The bikes are sold on for just £10 through local community groups, making the scheme self-funding and sustainable.

There is a Bike Donation Point, where residents can drop roadworthy bikes – two wheels & two brakes – along with new or good condition used parts, at Sheerness Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Cllr Rich Lehmann of the environment committee said:

“It is great to see the Swale Cycle-re-Cycle project having a real impact and helping people; and it's fantastic to learn that students in Swale are benefiting directly and able to get to school thanks to bikes refurbished through this scheme.

“The project also helps inmates learn new skills and gain qualifications, giving them more opportunities when they finish serving their sentence and re-enter society.

“Cycling is a great way to get around, it is environmentally friendly, keeps you active and, thanks to this project, is affordable too.

“If you have a bike you aren’t using or is broken, please consider donating it to this scheme so it can get a new life with someone who desperately needs a way of getting around.”

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